10 January 2012

My Opinion on Gay Rights

The following text is conclusive of my thoughts and opinions only. It is independent of the opinions of my Church, family and friend's views.

I'll go ahead and tell you, I am writing this post in response to an excessive amount of 'gay bashing' that happens in my high school. It has brought me to a point that I simply find offensive.

I support Gay rights. Despite the popular view of the vast majority of my faith, I believe that gay couples have the right to be together. I believe this for a couple of reasons,


1. I have been given the right to my own beliefs.

Under the law, every man, woman and child has the choice, or agency to decided their own belief systems.
I have been raised, and made my own choice to be a Mormon, or a Latter-Day Saint. Under the law, I am allowed to believe that a 14 year old boy was visited by an angel in the woods of New York who taught him and told him the location of a set of golden plates that contained the record of a pre-Indian civilization who migrated from Jerusalem 600 years before the birth of Christ. After much consideration and pondering using my own manner of praying, I have found this to be true. In my belief system, in the grand scheme of things, this is correct belief. 

I am allowed to believe this under our nation's laws. 


2. Not everyone shares my beliefs.

It is a fact, there are 14 Million members of my faith currently in the world. It is also a fact that there are 6.826 Billion other people who do not share my faith. Among those are people who believe that God's voice was given manifest through a prophet, Muhammad, or that  the true church is lead by the Pope in Rome. Others believe that a high power exists in the world around us, and that its power is real. Other people believe  that their is no God, or simply believe in natural selection and chance. 

Under the law, each and every single one of these people have the right to believe as they choose. 


3. Marriage is based on one's Beliefs.

For a large portion of America's Christian population a ceremony held in a church under the authority of a Minister, Pastor, or Priest and deemed correct under their Church doctrine is, in their eyes, a true marriage. For our Muslim population, when a couple signs a Nikkah Nama, and the woman is either Muslim or a woman from the People of the Book, their marriage is valid. For me and member of my faith, when both the man and the wife are in good standing, and the marriage takes place under the authority of the same Priesthood power given to Joseph Smith, and takes place across an altar in a Holy Temple, their marriage is true and valid. For people without a faith or their own beliefs, a marriage granted by our nation's laws is true and valid. 

Under the law, I am allowed to believe that marriage is only valid under certain settings and conditions.


4. Under the law, everyone has the right to their own version of marriage. 

Well, in theory. 

This is the part that is not true. While I am allowed to be married in a ceremony reserved for people who are faithful in my religion that is not published to the general world, other people are not given the right to marry another consenting human being in their own system of beliefs. 

To me, this is the single reason I believe that gay couples have their own rights to marriage. Under the law, I don't understand why my belief of marriage is between a man and a woman is legally accepted, and over rules the belief of someone else who understands marriage to between two consenting human beings.


Let me briefly reaffirm my own beliefs. 

I do not believe that marriage between two members of the same gender is correct. In my understanding of my faith, God has set forth the principle of holy matrimony to be between a worthy man and woman under the authority of His power. For me and the members of my faith, this is the single truth regarding marriage. 

But for the same reason that I am allowed to marry in a LDS Temple, I believe that Gay couples have the legal right to have their own marriage. I am a minority due to my beliefs in the country, as are members of the LGBT community. Despite this, the government allows me to practice marriage as a choose. So why does the latter minority not also have the right?


Don't get me wrong, this is not a change that could be brought about immediately. 

The current Federal government has the idea that because in some states the right of gay marriage has already been extended the rights for them to have children needs to be extended as well, through adoption. Again, this does not fit into my own faith, but then again my faith does not over ride their beliefs. However, because of this the government is requiring all adoption agencies, religiously affiliated or not, to give to these adoptions. Likewise, churches that deny a wedding ceremony to these couples are also being targeted. 

Obviously, this is wrong. Each faith has the right to give marriages to people who qualify under their doctrine. Adoption agencies should be able to give children to people who qualify under their ideals. 

This is a change that I know must be addressed before Gay marriage is to be extend. 


However, I remain adamant in my understanding of the law, that because as a minority I have been given the right to my own type of marriage, all Americans have the right to have marriage under their own beliefs, not to be over ridden by the beliefs of another.  

5 comments:

  1. See there is a big difference between marriage and the religious equivalent of matrimony. I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion of gay marriage and am pro-gay rights, as I support many other social liberties. In fact you have given me some hope for the religious people of this nation, because for once people are doing what's right for that very same sake. Aaron I am very proud of you for your views and bravery for speaking out on the subject. -Carlos Sanchez

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  3. Perfectionist edit! O.o No substance was harmed in the making of this edit. :)

    Thanks for being bold, faithful, and kind! I think that this should clearly be accepted as a reasonable Latter-day Saint position on the question. As you point out in the end, being a minority, Latter-day Saints should be advocates for a society tolerant of other people's beliefs, particularly on the question of marriage (given our history!)

    There are some interesting logical consequences of this line of reasoning--i.e. that an arbitrary legal definition of marriage is not necessarily just, and that alternate definitions may be acceptable--that we should discuss some time soon.

    Thanks for speaking out and for using a civil, reasonable tone about it. America can use more voices like yours. :)

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  4. I completely agree! Whether or not we believe in gay marriage, they should be able to practice their beliefs as much as we are allowed to practice ours. If they want to get married: good for them! As long as they're not killing anyone to do it, they can go right ahead.

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  5. Very interesting. I used to be confused by gay rights and am still researching more. But I have read clarifying speeches from the churches perspective that helps. The church itself isn't against gay rights (no discrimination, etc). The objections come when defining the family. They are for civil unions, but against gay marriage because it changes the definition of the family and opens a slippery slope to other issues, like freedom of religion. Although my heart goes out to the gay community, I don't believe their rights should interfere with the rights of the majority.

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